No. 3 Clemson tries to win 2nd straight ACC, seal CFP spot

VT head coach Justin Fuente is a rising star for sure. Thats really all that matters to me.

In some ways, it's refreshing to see two talented coaches immerse themselves in what they're doing and enjoy it so much that taking the Tom Herman route isn't on their agendas.

"I can't say enough about our coaching staff, our support personnel and our players that bought into everything we've been preaching to them. I'm sorry they are a stronger team and Virginia Tech has been up and down all season".

Beamer, who retired after the 2015 season after coaching at Virginia Tech for 29 years, brought five of his teams to the TaxSlayer Bowl between 1994 and 2006, winning twice - both in the Hokies most recent appearances. The Tigers would be all but guaranteed a spot in the playoff with a win, while Virginia Tech has, for all intents and purposes, no chance even if the Hokies were to take home the ACC crown. Miami linebacker Shaquille Quarterman was next with five votes, while Florida State defensive end Brian Burns received three and Miami defensive end Joe Jackson one.

"But he's a really great player. probably one of the best QBs we'll play or one of the best QBs I'll play in my time here at Tech".

He didn't have any expectations. I think experience is your greatest teacher and we have great leadership who is going an unbelievable job leading our team because we have some young guys. In fact, Virginia Tech is also 20th in the country, allowing only 21.1 points per contest. If Virginia Tech can avoid the turnovers, this is a game the Hokies could win outright.

"I could be out recruiting today, but I'm not", Swinney said Tuesday.

The Tigers have been wearing the target - both figuratively and literally in the form of "Embrace the Target" shirts - with every team they have played in 2016. The man overseeing the Virginia Tech athletic department couldn't be more thankful for that.

"The bottom line is nobody (they have played) has been able to stop them", Fuente said. They rank fifth nationally in passing offense (336.3 ypg), 12 in total offense and 17 in scoring offense.

Defensive tackle Nigel Williams from Benedictine is in the defensive rotation, Sam Rogers from Hanover is the starting fullback and Richmond native Augie Conte from Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School in Powhatan County plays on the offensive line.

It's not as if the Tigers are shabby on the other side of the ball either.

And, ideally, hit Watson when possible, though with Clemson only allowing 14 sacks this year, the second fewest in the ACC, that's easier said than done.

But the Hokies aren't that far behind statistically. Quarterback Jerod Evans is emerging as one of the better signal-callers in a league full of them. The Hokies got stomped on by a Syracuse team that isn't going to make a bowl game, and got run over by a middling Georgia Tech team. "The moment's never too big for him". The Hokies average just 4.1 yards per rush, so generating a push against this Clemson front will be a challenge. "So I felt like we needed all the resources possible". But we didn't do all this work just to get here.

As we saw in 2014 with Jim McElwain leaving Colorado State for Florida despite a $7million buyout written into his contract, that typically doesn't work. Our kids prepared that way. And we know we have to play extremely well in order to get it close there at the end.

"I've stayed away from the connotation that, "You've got nothing to lose" because I don't believe that".

Virginia Tech, which has beaten all three of those players' teams, will get a taste of the fourth quarterback in that mix this week in the ACC championship game, and Clemson's Deshaun Watson might well be the best of the bunch, the kind of athlete who can take over a game.



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